Sit. Stay. Forever.: Certified Nontoxic Pet Accessories & Toys
In today’s eco-conscious marketplace, customers are paying more and more attention to how their favorite products are made. From cleaning supplies to children’s toys and sofa fabrics, there’s never been more of a call for products that are safe and nontoxic. But what about the toys, beds, and other accessories we use for our pets?
This is a question Steve Whitney had been mulling over when he founded Sit. Stay. Forever. three years ago. A naturalist, environmentalist, and lifelong pet enthusiast who had taken a detour into music marketing and design, Steve knew that within the conversation about toxins in the environment and in products made for humans, there was a major opportunity to educate consumers about pet safety. “The FDA has a lot of restrictive guidelines for what can be used in our own bedding, but there are no restrictions on what can be used for our pets,” he explains. “They sleep 12 hours or more a day. They eat on or lick their beds and toys. How can we make their lives safer, better?”
Whitney researched the effects of common chemical treatments on feline and canine health. Realizing that many of these chemicals have been linked to the development of cancer and other deadly diseases in companion animals, he decided to forge a new path in the pet market. He chose fabrics, fills, and dyes that have been rigorously tested for harmful chemicals and certified safe and hypoallergenic by the world’s largest independent third-party testing organization, and used these materials to create pet beds, crate mats, toys, carriers, shampoos, and more that are the ideal marriage of streamlined form and supportive, safe, and nontoxic function.
Sit. Stay. Forever. uses materials like tactile ultrasuede, soft felt and fleece, durable linen/poly blends, and recycled poly filler made from recycled water bottles. All sourcing and manufacturing is completed in the United States, with as little waste as possible—Whitney even requires that his manufacturing staff chop up salvage materials from pattern cutting and combine it with recycled fill in toy stuffing. Each bed and toy is scanned with a metal detector before shipping, to ensure that pins and needles don’t accidentally make the trip, and the products are packaged in recycled postindustrial plastic and paper recyclable mailers.
Beyond their health-conscious appeal, Sit. Stay. Forever. products are also, well, catnip to pets, who love the plush feel and extra support (the beds, in particular, have 40 to 50% more recycled stuffing than their nearest competitor, making them heavier and better able to support a pet’s weight, or sensitive or aging joints), and the toys’ ease of pickup and portability. Toys retail for about $10, while “landing pads” (cushy, lightweight matlike beds) are priced around $40 and full beds run up to $330, depending on size.
“We have a responsibility to pay attention to the earth and to our pets’ health,” says Whitney, who regularly donates a portion of his proceeds to animals shelters and other local charities. “I want people to know that there are so many things out there that can be harmful to their pets. Our products are the alternative.”